Reviews

Positive Reviews of Vetiver by Guerlain

A favorite that makes me feel very happy whenever I wear it. My father loved Guerlain Vetiver and wore it almost exclusively throughout his life. When he passed away, my mother asked me to take the remaining bottle as it made her meloncholy to smell it or see it any longer. About a year later, I decided to try it myself and found why my dad loved it all those years.

I would describe Guerlain Vetiver as slightly sweeter, slightly fresher and a bit more refined than most of the other vetivers on the market that I have sampled, and there are many good ones that are all quite different. However, the association I have with my father on this will always make it my favorite and bring back fond childhood memories of my dad.

10/10

11th February, 2015 (last edited: 13th February, 2015)
One of the better vetiver fragrances but sadly I'm tired of vetiver. It's very balanced and a good choice for vetiver lovers who don't want something too strong like Encre Noire.
23rd November, 2014
My review is based on a vintage '80s bottle of the first EDC formulation of this, although ages ago I bought a couple of vintage EDT minis too and I still sniff them from times to times (and in fact I notice quite a little difference between these two). I do not know the actual formulation of this and to be honest, I am not much interested in it, as I guess how it could smell – not saying it's worse as I don't know it. However, the EDC is simply stunning: unmistakable opening, elegant, fresh, zesty, full of earthy-rooty richness and tasty woods. A milestone for perfumery in general, for masculine "class", for vetiver scents. A totally refined, noble, elegant, cozy freshness rich in citrus, lavender, aldehydes, with an irresistible heart of great, aromatic tobacco, vetiver and cedar. As minutes pass it progressively gets more dry and a darker woody-leather base emerges. Light spices like cumin and nutmeg "fill" the higher notes of vetiver. Refined, versatile, mellow, simple but unique, cozy, pure self-confidence in a bottle. Longevity is discreet but long-lasting. Timeless!

10/10
19th June, 2014
divus5 Show all reviews
United States
(I own a bottle, bought this year at Bloomingdales in nyc)

Try before you buy on this one because I think people will either love this or kinda hate it. I think this fragrance is incredible, so unique and just magical as it evolves during the dry-down, from start to finish it makes me happy. Understated AND great, not easy to do. I can see why some wont like it though, without the florals and heavy citrus many will not find it charming.
23rd May, 2014 (last edited: 29th May, 2014)
Review for the pre-2000 formulation

Jean-Paul Guerlain's Vetiver was one of the the first fragrances composed primarily around Vetiver, and it has become a classic ever since.

For me, when I first opened this and sprayed it I was shocked. It smelled like an old man! Not just that, but an old people's retirement home! I was horrified, and for a long time I couldn't get this image out of my head!

But I gave it time (like all Guerlain's), and guess what? I love it now! I wouldn't be without it. I now think that if I only had to choose two fragrances to wear for the rest of my life, it would be this and Habit Rouge.

So, what's not to like here? You have fresh, bright Lemon and dry, spicy pepper in the opening, joined by Nutmeg, a hint of Tobacco, and raw, earthy dry Vetiver throughout. Jean-Paul Guerlain made this when he was only 20 years old (an amazing feat for a perfumer), and he based it on the smell of a gardener, working in the crisp, early morning. Whilst wearing this you really do feel active, dynamic and alive. If you close your eyes you can imagine what the air smells like at dawn in a dew-covered field in the early morning mist, the crisp, cold air mixing with the smell of earth and grass.

It's very green, very fresh, very alive. This one really lifts you up and it sets you up for the day brilliantly. Like standing in a field and taking in the cold morning air. It also reminds me of green jungles, and it's no surprise because this product was originally sold to Mexico, where they imported the Vetiver essence exclusively from Guerlain, and there was a huge demand for the smell of Vetiver in Latin America. For that reason, I also think it works (exceptionally) well in hot weather, cutting through the heat beautifully... the fresh lemon lifting up the green, earthy Vetiver and making it a very clean, almost soapy smell.

Look, I know not everyone will like this one at first, but if you like green, earthy and fresh... you'll really love this one. Just try it on a spring or summer morning just before stepping out of the house into the air. You'll see what I mean, what kind of effect it has. I love this one, love it, and love Guerlain for making this. No Vanilla, no Amber or heavy Florals. Just pure green, refreshing energy! Great stuff.
20th May, 2014
Absolutely Fantastic!

Very, very addictive fresh, spicy vertiver done just right...a brilliant balanced gem which has made me a hopeless addict! Love it from its opening to the final drydown!

cooling, calm and balanced...superbly green, brilliantly crafted and bright...wonderful scent...whether a beginner to vetiver or experienced, this makes an worthwhile addition to the collection.

discovered this only now but i will never be without a bottle of this again :)

lasts a decent 8 hrs plus and can be greatly extended by ensuring some spray falls on the clothes also while spraying the skin.

wish they came in those huge 500 ml jug types like the ones from caron
14th May, 2014
A great soapy, green, clean, vetiver. Ladies and gentleman, if ya wanna know what vetiver smells like, look no further. Guerlain Vetiver is about as "vetiver" as you're gonna get, while still staying fresh and clean. This stuff is an instant classic. Sophisticated, and still very contemporary. A little citrus on top, a little tobacco in the base, but the central note here is vetiver. Longevity is fantastic, as is projection. Make sure you're confident though with this one, it's more for the older gentleman, but I think anybody can pull it off. I am almost 30, and it works very well on me.
13th February, 2014
This scent is not to be judged purely on its scent. What do I mean? Well, you'll need to understand a bit about modern fragrance history to appreciate this one - it was grounbreaking for its time and brought a whole new dimension to scents.
Guerlain wanted to capture the scent of the earth after the summer rain and was inspired by nature when he set out to create his first ever scent - Vetiver.
A grass or root that grows under the ground, the scent of vetiver is spicy and of course earthy. This fragrance is all of that but cleverly wrapped up in citrus and highlighted with notes of tobacco. But this isn't a smoky scent and hence can be appreciated in the warmer months or in wet weather. It fits the inspiration behind it perfectly and is venerated by many as a true classic.
09th January, 2014
Vetiver by Guerlain is one of my personal favorites from the historic perfume house. Maybe this is because I’m enamored with the vetiver note and all of its green, smoky depth. This classic combines vetiver with tobacco and a huge dose of nutmeg which results in a “barber shop” feel. “Vetiver” is a must try for vetiver lovers and fans of classics.

Highly recommended, especially for women. 4.5/5
24th December, 2013 (last edited: 09th March, 2014)
give it time

When I first sampled Guerlain's Vetiver, I didn't understand all the praise. It smelled simply of.... a tangy lemon. That's it. I was very confused, and didn't really like the smell. However, I kept trying it at different times, on different days, on skin and clothes, different moods. After a while I was able to pick apart different scents within the fragrance (a peppery feel, green notes, citrus, and tobacco.... even black licorice). I began to really enjoy it. It was hard putting this smell into perspective; forming a visual interpretation of it. After testing it for over a year (and now owning a bottle), I can say that to me, this smells like wet grass and earth. That's right... the smell of dripping wet green grass, saturated soil and roots after a hard but brief summer rainfall, and then the sun comes out and begins to slowly heat everything up. Very earthy and green. I think this could be worn by females. I think it can smell soapy at times too. It usually puts me in a good mood to wear this. It has the same affect on me as sunshine. And no... to me this smells nothing like an old man. In fact it doesn't smell dated at all. It could work year round, for lounging on the couch, to a business meeting, working in a factory, school.... anything. A wonderful smell.

Pros: versatile,not dated, invigorating
Cons: none"</p>
02nd October, 2013 (last edited: 09th July, 2014)
Classic and masculine

Oh My God, what a lovely fragrance. Indeed, I have that feeling of meeting again an old acquaintance, so familiar and yet this is the first time I have GV in my hands. I know, the olde men/granddaddy smell some of us like to report immediately. Nevertheless, guerlain Vetiver is just gorgeous, clean and above all, masculine. Maybe it is that what some think of being oldie, Masculinaty. The tabacco note is not that strog and most of them are so well blended that you think all is part of the vetiver itself. Now having them both I can say that the Extreme is in fact stronger and bolder than the original, more mature and less casual although I wouldn't wear Vetiver Extreme in the evening, they seem to ask for daylight to shine throughout the day. I am extremely happy with my purchese, specailly after the letdown that was Aqua Fahrenheit. It is worth the price and I am considering layering GV with Eau Sauvage Parfum for a more impact impression when the occasion asks for.

Pros: Perfect for all occasions
Cons: None"

30th July, 2013
A fantastic vetiver for any collector's arsenal

This fragrance is a great buy for any fan of vetiver. The price is ridiculously cheap compared to most vetivers and I think it can compete with the quality of them as well. I wore this fragrance a lot during the spring time because it seems like the perfect fit for that season. I also continue to wear it in the summer though.

The negative aspect of Vetiver is its ability to attract attention. I just can't see myself wearing this in a club or any other social setting where I would like to get attention. I don't think that's an important criteria for a fragrance but it is something that most fragrances have the ability to do that Vetiver just doesn't. Its versatility isn't that great either in regards to seasons but with such a smaller amount of great spring/summer fragrances compared to winter, I'm glad I can grab Vetiver as my go-to fragrance for the spring season. The last nitpick I have is the sprayer is not good in my opinion. I own the 3.4 ounce (100 ml) and it just doesn't give me consistent sprays.

8.7/10

Pros: 1. Amazing value for the price 2. Can compete for best quality against most vetivers 3. I could wear this everyday for the Spring
Cons: 1. Not a lady killer 2. Not very versatile 3. Sprayer is inconsistent

04th July, 2013
The Mother Ship of Vetiver's

For the money, tuff to beat. I like Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver the best(a little cleaner and a little more youthful but still a mature fragrance, but it's more than twice the price)

Pros: Clean and Mature
Cons: None

05th June, 2013
Old man cologne straight up no if ands or buts about it. This is grey vetivers granddad for sure. I could not believe how rugged this fragrance is from start to finish. The shame of this is it doesn't last very long at least on me. Starts out with citrus n tobacco, not soft gentle tobacco either, this is harsh kid not for the weak at heart gf's won't be stealing this one ill tell you that. I was a little disappointed that the tonka didn't smooth it out more but not enough to waiver on my endorsement. Masculine classic vetiver at its finest
18th March, 2013
It may be old school, but this is the one I find spraying on my wrist and sniffing all day!
19th January, 2013
A great work of perfumery that transcends time. As valid today as it was at the time of its release. Not only vetiver fragrance gives a feeling of walking in a forest, a hint of flowers, snuff and more ... must dress to experience it.
15th January, 2013

To my mind, Guerlains Vetiver EdT is just like a timeless masculine should be: A restraint but at the same time remarkable and distinctive visit card that is neither uninspired nor dandified.
It is its simplicity and balanced nature that makes this perfume fit every season and every occasion: Fresh, grassy, rooty like a walk through the forest - tobacco, mutmeg and tonka as a comfortable base. An outstandingly wearable all-rounder and still the reference vetiver.

Recently tried the body shampoo and deo stick - both are generously perfumed and smell terrific. Great Work Guerlain!

9/10


09th December, 2012 (last edited: 15th January, 2013)
I too have been told that I'm playing above my age bracket, so to speak, by wearing Guerlain's Vetiver. Not a problem in my books—if old people wear this, then old people smell great! This vetiver is fantastic, maybe even Professor Emeritus of vetivers. Tall praise but quite justified, and the sheer number of positive reviews here on Basenotes speak for themselves. My one complaint is longevity: on my skin it doesn't last quite as long as I'd like it to, but it's still worth those glorious five hours.
09th October, 2012
ad_scott Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Citrus, soapy, powdery, tobacco, woody, greenery. I adore Vetiver! Some have said it's an 'old man' fragrance but I disagree with that. I'd say Vetiver is masculine, fresh and sophisticated with an aristocratic or regal vibe; suitable for men aged 30 and over. I can see this fragrance being best suited for outdoor sports like hunting, polo, horse riding and for social activities such as family gatherings, a walk in the park, a drink in the beer garden. I'm not sure if it's for the office or a nightclub... it's more of a daytime outdoor fragrance. When I first sampled Vetiver I pictured myself in the countryside, dressed in tweed and knee high in tall grass, holding a shotgun in one hand and a pheasant in the other.
09th September, 2012
A bergamot-citrus-green opening, that very briefly reminds me of Neroli Sauvage, to then be embedded in cedar, again cedar and coriander. The vetiver becomes more prominent with time, and a spicy pepper- nutmeg base lays the foundation for the residual fragrance, tempered by whiffs of vetiver and always immersed in the delicious cedar. This base note is less fresh, and more wood and spice. Wearable in all seasons, I understand why it is such a classic. It lacks the light bright freshness of Creed's Vetiver 1948 and is heavier and woodier. As mentioned above, as if Mugler had added a bit of its own style. I tried the vintage version years ago, and although I distrust houses who are taken over by large corporations not to dilute the quality of their original products, there appears not too much of a significant difference as far as I can recall apart from some loss of intensity and more citrus in the newer version IMHO. Projection and silage are adequate, with a pleasant soapiness added toward the end. Longevity overall is about four to five hours.
16th August, 2012 (last edited: 15th June, 2014)
My initial review is below the line. Since I wrote it, I tried the juice in the "new" traditional bottle, still green but much more like the original 1961 version. It has much less citrus and more of that woodsy/tobacco note that made the original so wonderful. I am sure that Guerlain will deny changing anything, as they did when they switched away from the original mix. The problem of course is that one cannot be sure what one is getting when one plunks down the fare for one of these bottles. But I can now give the version in the rediscovered bottle a thumbs up.
_________________________________________________________________

I really should give a split vote. An enthusiastic thumbs up for the original, now extinct, Guerlain masterpiece, recognizable by its yellow color. A resounding thumbs down for its green replacement.

Whereas the original was always a love affair to wear and for others to sense and compliment on, the new formulation is simply bitter lemon, over citrused in the extreme and completely uninteresting. I had worn the original exclusively since I first discovered it and still have a few bottles which I will horde for as long as I can.

I see that the bottle has been changed again but the juice remains green. Packaging won't save this loser.
25th July, 2012 (last edited: 27th September, 2012)
I tried Guerlain Vetiver on one wrist and Creed Original Vetiver on the other wrist simultanously. While the Creed fragrance projected fresh, green vetiver it was rather unilinear. The Guerlain Vetiver on the other hand started out as fresh and green, but moved on to complex layers of other notes, some spicy and some cedar like. It meandered beautifully and lasted forever, or a whole day at least.

November 2012
I had the chance to try an older Vetiver from around 15 years back. It is clearly deeper yellow in colour and more spicy than the current version. I would say it smells more from turmeric while the most recent version is more soapy. Better or not....I am not sure.



02nd July, 2012 (last edited: 30th November, 2012)
just one word...kinky!
26th June, 2012 (last edited: 23rd July, 2012)
cerjr Show all reviews
United States
Not getting the old-man scent that everyone claims. This is a nice, dark take on vetiver. It is subtle and works with your own chemistry as you wear it. I also own Encre Noire and can sense the relation, but this is less pronounced and more easy-going for an everyday wear. I'm glad I added it to my collection...
10th June, 2012
I know it's called Vetiver, but I almost think it should be called CEDAR. That's great for me, because I love the smell of cedar. The first time I put this stuff on at Saks, I was kind of shocked by how up front it was with the citrus and bergamot - and I was confused by what I was actually smelling. Moth balls? Dirt? Who knew? After walking around the plaza with it on for an hour, I realized exactly what this scent is all about. Confidence. This coming from a guy who is unafraid to wear 2 sprays of Quorum in a small conference room. I am addicted to Guerlain's Vetiver, and I wear it just about everywhere. I have never had a person tell me that I smelled like an old man. I will say that 'mature' women are the first to compliment this fragrance. Take whatever you want from that. I dig the stuff.
07th June, 2012
As a perfect example of how dramatically tastes can change over the years, I did not care for this fragrance at all when I first got it. I still don't think it's something that will appeal to all tastes, but being somewhat of a non-conformist myself, I have grown to appreciate its bold uniqueness.

Am rather curious now to sample other vetivers (so far I've tried only one or two other brands), to see if there might be more gems among them that years ago I would have simply written off as something too "different" for me at that time.
31st May, 2012
Thank you, dear Basenoters! But for your reviews, I may never have run into this masterpiece. Admittedly, I did not like this when I purchased Vetiver blindly. Upon first contact, the fragrance appears overly-medicinal. However, give it a chance and in an hour or so, you will discover a luxurious gentleman's fragrance. I will not rehash other better-articulated descriptions and instead will describe succinctly in my own way: a field of green grass in the middle of summer with an overriding aroma of earthy vetiver and minty menthol. A vanilla (tonka bean) ghost peeks in from time to time. Guerlain's Vetiver is for men who command attention with subtlety and originality rather than loud boasts. If you appreciate white collared shirts under tailored sports coats, worn with vintage jeans and fine oxfords, you will enjoy Vetiver. James Bond would wear this fragrance during the day. This is not for men who wear Affliction or Ed Hardy t-shirts.
07th May, 2012
I've had this more than once-the ribbed bottle a decade ago and a fresh, new (boring shape) bottle I've had for a couple of months. A great scent, I love it and always will. Elegant and special, though I can see why it's not for every nose. Some people call this an 'old man scent' -nonsense.
04th May, 2012
In my opinion one has to get acquainted with this fragrance which can take some time. This is not a fragrance for starters and even for experienced frag lovers it can take some time to really appreciate this scent. I own the last formulation of the ribbed squared bottle (2000 version) which is generally considered as good but less than the vintage version which I never owned.
I will start with, imo, the only drawback and that is the too long heavy citrus opening. On me it lasts like one hour and is quite a dominating smell. To avoid this a little it is advised to spray this scent from quite a distance to your skin so that the top notes are well divided (8" at least). Then my favourite parts start: the very masculine heart and drydown. As the citrus fades away the vetiver becomes more prominent surrounded by a light tobacco/tonka bean note and some earthy but clean vibe! This lingers on for many hours before it slowly disappears after 8+ hours.
Further, the fragrance is very versatile and can be used all year around and is also suitable for office and formal wear. Only not advised for clubbing.
It is almost a delight to appreciate what this scent has to offer when you connect to it! A masterpiece!
Rating: 9.5/10
08th April, 2012 (last edited: 09th April, 2012)
This fragrance is a deep and dark green take on vetiver with completely masculine aura. I can only imagine a guy with a nice and expensive suit and a mustache when I'm smelling it!

The opening is a slightly fresh citrusy scent along with heavy dose of green notes in a dark and very mature way. it's bitter, sharp and very deep green mossy kind of smell.
Vetiver note here does not smell rooty or earthy. it's very green and vegetable like but in a mysterious and dark way. there is some tobacco here again with bitter and green feel that gives the scent even more green and slightly smoky feeling.

As time passes there is no change in the scent. only those mellow fresh citruses are gone and now vetiver has a smooth and charming rooty/earthy aura.
This is something formal and for special occasions. it's not something casual for every day use with jeans and white Tshirt in the spring or summer!
Projection is above average and longevity is around 7-8 hours on the skin.
Great mature masculine scent.
03rd April, 2012 (last edited: 29th April, 2015)